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Ukraine calls on partners to ramp up arms production

29.02.2024 08:30
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on his country's Western partners to ramp up arms production so as not to allow delays in the supply of weapons to Ukraine as it fights Russia's ongoing invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.Photo: EPA/MALTON DIBRA

Speaking at a joint press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Wednesday, Zelensky said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "does not respect anyone and neither does he want to allow anyone to live freely," Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform reported.

"And this is precisely the meaning of his war," Zelensky said. "And that is why, if he is not stopped now, he will expand his aggression."

The Ukrainian leader urged: "We must increase arms production. Ukraine offers joint production of defense products. I am grateful to my counterparts for their willingness to work now and work together. We must do everything possible so that there is no delay in the supply of weapons for our soldiers."

Zelensky told reporters: "Each such pause, each doubt that the world is ready to defend itself, inspires one person. And the more he sees weapon shortages, the more he thinks he will be able to put pressure on Europe and the West."

During his visit to the Albanian capital Tirana on Wednesday, Zelensky attended a summit of southeastern European countries, Ukrinform reported.

"We are interested in co-production with you and all our partners," Zelensky told leaders from Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Moldova and Romania, as cited by the Reuters news agency.

He said: "There are about 500 defence companies operating in Ukraine, each of them adds strength but it is not enough to win against Putin. We see the problems with the supply of ammunition, which affects the situation on the battlefield."

Zelensky proposed organising a Ukrainian-Balkans defence forum in Kyiv or a Balkan capital to nurture arms cooperation, modeled after similar initiatives conducted last year with British and US weapons producers, Reuters reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Thursday is day 736 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, ukrinform.net, Reuters